Shop Talk : In a festive mood
November is here, which means company's coming and party time. The holiday season is upon us, so don't be caught unprepared. Head out now to get what you need for a beautiful and inviting holiday season.
You can set the festive mood by appealing to not just eyes, but also to noses. When I stepped into the Beach House on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, I was assailed with a colorful array of wares and the most wonderful scent of the holidays. I found the origin of the wonderful aroma that fills the store in a large glass vase filled with fragrant potpourri. Further inspection revealed bags of Indian Summer and Seaside Holiday potpourri - seashells included - for $21.
Salesclerk Dorothy Gould explained that the potpourri was one of their more popular hostess gifts, along with the pairs of 100 percent beeswax spiraled, multi-colored tapers ($18).
Dorothy was so enthusiastic about all of the store's wonderful holiday and everyday housewares that I couldn't help but grin throughout my visit. I mean, they even nicknamed their colorful Italian Pottery, "Happy Pottery," because it is art you can use.
I learned from Dorothy that the very traditional balsam fir filled pillows ($22) are not just for decoration, they actually are great for your nasal passages.
I couldn't resist the fall-colored tablecloths ($38) with coordinating 20-inch napkins ($5.75). Patterns are matched in throw covers and quilts, so your holiday table can be coordinated with your living area.
Dorothy suggests accessorizing with some of her favorite dripless non-scented, teardrop candles, a perfect centerpiece as the crackled wax illuminates from within when lit. The Beach House carries an array of party paper products, serving dishes, guest soaps, throw pillows, bags and the yummy Lake Champlain chocolate truffles that they order special for the holidays.
There are more traditional holiday items - everything from bright cozy throws to fancy table scaping with everything in between at LeRoux at Home, Rainy Day, Bramhall & Dunn, and Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven.
LeRoux at Home offers the nuts to bolts on cooking and serving. They have charming leaf-shaped plates ($5.95), large ceramic serving platters in various colors ($49.95), and decorative etched 18-ounce wine glasses (starting at $5.95).
When serving a red wine, you might want to use a wine decanter ($18.99) to help aerate it and minimize any sediment winding up in your glass. LeRoux carries a large selection of table linens starting at $10.99.
Another great spot is Bramhall & Dunn, now also in Edgartown. They can help dress up the house with their wonderful new Woodard Weave rugs or French quilts.
Rainy Day always has a unique selection of colorful seasonal accents in linens, serving ware, glassware, and candles along with some unique item that you would never have thought of, but immediately want.
Give yourself time to wander around Midnight Farm and admire their wide selection that runs from earthy to elegant. They have a wonderful selection of pottery, silverware, and stemware.
But for something really special, you can get one of their glass UNICEF tap water bottles ($13). For every Tap Water Bottle purchased, you're donating to UNICEF - and every dollar raised will provide a child with clean drinking water for 40 days. What a wonderful way to quench thirst and raise consciousness.
Add a smile and warm greeting and it will all add up to making your holiday season memorable.